Why I’m Optimistic

Today I’m focusing on a quote that I’ve had hanging on my computer screen since June 2009.  It’s from Paul Hawken, who spoke at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service.

“If you look at the science about what is happening on the earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand the data.  But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse.”

We’re at the halfway point of our service year.  At this point, it’s not uncommon for AmeriCorps members to wonder if they are making a difference or to become pessimistic at the slow rate of change.  Paul Hawken reminds us to balance the struggle for change with the optimism that we can make our world better.

It’s Monday and the morning news didn’t give me much to rejoice about.  But I am optimistic because I know AmeriCorps members, nonprofit staff, and community volunteers are working every day to improve our world.  And I am optimistic that, with their continued service, we will restore the earth and the lives of the poor.

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